Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dog Days of Summer  
August has arrived with more cool weather.  Those Dog days of summer are coming to a close and not much hot weather has accompanied them which is just fine by me.  Just what, exactly are the Dog Days of Summer?  Officially the Farmer's Almanac says the term “dog days of summer” is intended to mean it is hot and humid. There is an astronomical basis for the saying. Dog days run from July 3 through August 11th when the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the Dog Star. In ancient times people thought that the star’s position conspired with the sun to make the days hotter than any other time of the year. Other people thought that the hot days of summer made dogs “mad”, thus the name.  
 I've been at it again.  The Urban Ranch garden has suffered greatly because of the very late spring.  All efforts were directed toward Terra Nova Garden and the Urban Ranch was left to fend for itself.  That's not a good way to grow a garden.  Even with heavy mulch weeds will find a way to thrive.
Three hours of blood, sweat, and tears makes the landscape much more pleasant to look at.  Most of the debris was left on the curb to be taken away and made into city compost.  So I guess you could say that I helped out the city by growing them some recycle material for compost which is sold back to the community.  It was organically grown.

In the process of mowing the grass this year I managed to hit the gang distribution block for the watering system that comes out of the big 400 gallon tank.  It cracked loose from the tank and had a major leak.

 It will required a complete drain down to fix.  Since most of the water leaked out already, it didn't take long.  You can see my lame attempt to fix it which never works.  The shut off faucet is actually loose going into the tank so something has been broken.  When drained, the task was to clean all that tar off the problem area to get a better look at the issue.  This area has been a problem before so now it will get the fix it should have had a couple years ago.

Yup, I definitely broke it.  I decided to just "do it".  After the water was completely drained down and the tar peeled away from the faucet, only a slight tug pulled everything out of the tank.  Hmmmm, I really broke it good.  So off to Ace hardware for solder and resin to solder the faucet back into the tank.  The metal around the opening has to be shiny metal.  I had some cleaning and sanding to do.

Well, so far so good.  A good solid solder joint always makes me feel good.  Now a good blob of roof flashing tar to seal up the joint even more.

OK, looks  good as new on this side and now for the inside.
I really can't solder on this side without heating up the solder on the other side which would then melt, run, and break the good solid joint.  There's enough sticking through the backside to get a small hose clamp on the lip for added stability and strength.

 Since I had the tar, I sealed up the entire bottom seam of the tank.  Now patience will be required to let the tar cure.  How long that will take I'm not sure but it has to get pretty solid to hold in the water and not leak.

That was my project for this week.  Now it's time to tackle the backyard again.  The grass (crab grass) is heading toward the sky so it's time crank up Honda and get to mowing.

I'll try to keep things under control until we meet here again.


  1. I was hoping you were going to use FlexSeal. I would like to know if it really works.

  2. There seems to be a never-ending supply of jobs that need to be taken care of. Sorry you hit your faucet....but looks like the new one will give you years of good service---if you don't go mowing full bore-haha.

    We've had only one streak of hot weather this summer. It's been absolutely perfect as far as temps go. We could use a bit (lot!!)more rain, but my water tanks have been getting enough to get me by.

    Looks like the fence got a bit banged up from the tree?

  3. Nice of you to help out the city compost site!

    Looks like you got the tank fixed well. Your watering system is pretty cool. Worth the tank being fixed well.

  4. That's a bummer that you broke the tank but it is impressive that you are able to fix it. I would have had to rely on a neighbor to help. Good job!